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In Memory

D. Marlow Boyer

D. Marlow Boyer



From The Washington Post  April 18, 1985


Film Maker Dee Marlow Boyer Dies at Age 25

By Colman McCarthy

Washington Post Staff Writer

Dee Marlow Boyer, 25, a writer and film maker whose most recent work was about a group of Americans who traveled to the Soviet Union to promote better relations between the two peoples, died of cancer April 13 at his home in Bethesda.

Mr. Boyer had produced audio-visual shows since 1977. His most recent work was called “People to People.” It is a 30-minute photographic and musical production – plus commentary – that tells of the experiences of 31 Seattle citizens who traveled on a nongovernmental good will mission to four cities in the Soviet Union.

As the photographer for the trip, Mr. Boyer caught on film the bonds of friendship between American and Soviet citizens. In March, “People to People” was shown at the National Geographic Society, where his father is a writer on the National Geographic Magazine, and at a peace studies class at American University.

At AU, Mr. Boyer used the occasion to talk to the 100 students who attended the presentation about this personal efforts to seek inner peace in what he knew were the last days of his life.

Mr. Boyer told the students stories that were both poignant and wry. He described participating in “a truly guinea pig-like way in a ‘phase one study’ of a new drug that has only recently introduced to human populations.

“It has never been administered to patients with Ewing’s sarcoma (the cancer that affected him). The tests they are performing have more to do with documenting the various levels of toxicity and the side effects that can be caused by the drug than they are with the actual treatment of the disease.”

“As [one doctor] put it, ‘There are significant benefits to be gained by your participating in the study – it’s just that the benefits will not necessarily accrue to you personally’. Fair enough, it beats sitting on my ass and watching the grass grow.”



Marlow wrote the following letter-to-the-editor sometime in early 1985. (Presumably, this was published in The Washington Post or The Washington Times).

~ News articles courtesy of Betsy Hahn



Marlow in an undated photo


Marlow in an undated photo

~ Photos courtesy of DeeAnne Boyer McClenahan (Marlow's sister) via Betsy Hahn

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02/04/12 11:29 PM #1    

Marci Yellin

I have searched my memento stashes and so far have not found the article about Marlow's death that my mother sent to me when I was in Turkey in 1985. I had the good fortune to have enjoyed a brief interlude with Marlow beginning with our senior prom (which was a last minute arrangement, partly helped along by Derry Royal). It was a very fun evening -- garlic scampi, dancing, and early early breakfast outdoors on a grassy hill behind a church in Bethesda. It was all so last-minute I remember my mom hemming the (somewhat voluminous) dress I'd bought practically the day before and tempers running a bit high.

Marlow and I spent some time together after that, and soon afterwards I was invited to accompany he and his dad and sister Michelle on their cross-country drive to Leavenworth, WA, that summer after we graduated. One memorable adventure was while visiting some of their friends in Minnesota, we got to go up in a 4-seater plane. I have a clear visual memory of fog and trees and lakes, and trees and lakes, and more trees and lakes! It was quite exciting in such a tiny plane.

We lost touch pretty much after I departed Leavenworth, but from the article I remember learning that Marlow had subsequently participated in peace exchanges with a city in Russia (through art? I don't remember the details). But it sounded like some wonderful international work that he did, in his young life. And certainly his artistic endeavors spoke for themselves.

And lest I forget -- Marlow's Wall! That same summer, before the westward drive, my folks hired John Verdi and me to paint the interior of much of our home, and along the way the idea was formed that Marlow would be commissioned to paint something interesting on the section of the wall that went along the upwards stairway from the main floor. Marlow came up with a complementary palette to the Avocado Heather Light  (it was the '70s after all), and painted a long, multicolored striped pattern all the way from the front door to the second floor, thereafter known as "Marlow's Wall." My folks were very sad to leave that wall when they moved to Seattle in the mid-90's. It added a wonderful and fun character to the place, and became Marlow's legacy to us!

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